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Small Fry

Written by: Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Narrated by: Eileen Stevens
Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

A frank, smart, and captivating memoir by the daughter of Apple founder Steve Jobs

Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents - artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs - Lisa Brennan-Jobs' childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa's father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she grew older, her father took an interest in her, ushering her into a new world of mansions, vacations, and private schools. His attention was thrilling, but he could also be cold, critical, and unpredictable. When her relationship with her mother grew strained in high school, Lisa decided to move in with her father, hoping he'd become the parent she'd always wanted him to be.

Small Fry is Lisa Brennan-Jobs' poignant story of a childhood spent between two imperfect but extraordinary homes. Scrappy, wise, and funny, young Lisa is an unforgettable guide through her parents' fascinating and disparate worlds. Part portrait of a complex family, part love letter to California in the '70s and '80s, Small Fry is an enthralling audiobook by an insightful new literary voice.

©2018 Lisa Brennan-Jobs (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Robert Ames
  • 11-10-18

A beautiful, poignant, thoughtful and devastating memoir

I listened to this much of the time with my mouth wide open. Agape at Lisa's telling of brutal, heartbreaking tales of her upbringing, filled with beautiful prose. She has uncannily observed her own life and put it in a story that will teach you about growth, love and all of its complexity. The perspective of a child thirsting for attention and love and her observations of the adults are both beautifully written and thought provoking. I was moved by this book very deeply.

18 people found this helpful

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  • PictureGuy
  • 13-09-18

Most honest look at Steve Jobs I have read.

Lisa portrays both of her parents as only a child could. Both of her parents are incredibly flawed and at times I found myself angry at them both. However, by the end she had made peace and the reader does as well. I felt sorry for Steve most of all. He missed it and he regretted it.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Rene
  • 14-09-18

Lisa Brennan-Jobs is a survivor

One of the best books I have read. Lisa has a way of absorbing you in her story. I felt as if I was right beside her experiencing the trauma in her life. Few people could tolerate the behavior of the adults in her inner circle. Lisa has become a beautiful woman, wise beyond her years and appears to have such a peaceful and forgiving heart. I hope she continues to write, she's an excellent writer and processes a talent to pull you into her life while reading her book. She is a daughter most of us would be proud to have.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-09-18

You feel as though you are there.

The author has a beautiful way of describing her memories. She crafts her words in such a way that you feel you are there.

She comes across very authentic. Not only does she share her perspective of her father, but all of the adults in her life. She doesn’t shy away from her own embarrassing moments either.

This book is very much about every child brought up during this same time period with a single mother. There are many parallels to my own childhood. Brilliantly written!

20 people found this helpful

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  • J. Colborn
  • 18-01-19

Good writing won’t save you from boredom

Adolescent angst and cliches make the daughter of Steve Jobs seem unaccountably ordinary — maybe that is the point? But if so, she needs an editor. Gave up with three hours to go...

22 people found this helpful

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  • Douglas A. Brown
  • 02-10-18

Simply Awesome

I’ve read and listened to a lot of books ... This one is one of my favorites. Beautifully written, touching and beautiful. I never thought of Steve as bad just as a human and Lisa as a kid growing through the trials and tribulations of growing up. Thank you for sharping your staring with us Lisa. I have two kids I don’t live with and live far apart from... touched me so deeply.

Truly an amazing book. Simply awesome! Thank you!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jan Napp
  • 15-09-18

Well done

I admit I was interested in this book because of it being by Steve Jobs daughter. I was in for a surprise. Lisa’s “coming of age” story is indeed very interesting, but more than that, it was lived and revealed by a very perceptive, intelligent person and very good writer.
As far as Steve’s portrayal, yes, his well- known, incomprehensibly difficult side is on display, but also, and unexpectedly, a different , better side that I don’t think he’s gotten much, if any credit for publicly.
Well deserved 5 stars for the author and narrator.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jayne1004
  • 26-09-19

Do you want some cheese with that whine?

Lisa Brennan-Jobs has had an awful life and she wants to tell you every horrid detail. Much of this saga obviously had to be expounded upon, as no one has a memory as detailed as she describes all throughout this book. I was done after 3 chapters but I hung on for two more. I'm going to ask for a refund. I was hoping she was present at her father's death to hear her interpretation of the event, but she was not (I listened to the last couple chapters to see). You may love this book, especially if you enjoy hearing about someone's awful parents and childhood. I do not. We've all got baggage but there comes a time to let it go. I do hope the young woman has found happiness. The narrator was mediocre in my opinion.

3 people found this helpful

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  • rng210
  • 08-09-18

Beautifully Lyrical Prose...Albeit a Bit Entitled

Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s memoir is accomplished in its prose, symbolism, and sentiment. Consequently, while I thoroughly believe she had an emotionally tumultuous childhood - her story is often difficult to connect to the reader’s experience. The narrator comes off as often spoiled, completely entitled, and out-of-touch, much like the father she often maligns.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Sage
  • 07-12-18

Not as expected

I really tried to like this book - so many did - this 12 hour audio could have easily been cut in half. The story of a young girl ignored by her biological father is not new, the name dropping is what pulls most in. This story is told from the eyes of an 8 year old that has never grown up (emotionally). I wanted to skip chapters to get to the more mature dialog but it never arrived. The only part that was worth the 12 hours was the last 3 chapters (maybe because I knew it was over soon). The story presents the life of a whinny child who like many, grew up in a single parent home and would do anything to 'win' the approval or love of the 'lost' parent. I kept thinking of the classic books written by children of well known perhaps well loved celebrities that reveled their true human side. Sometimes adults suck and grow into parents that suck.

19 people found this helpful

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  • RoadKingScot
  • 25-08-19

Unsettled parenthood

I was first introduced to this book by @gretchenrubin via the happiness project podcast. It sounded like an interesting story so I added it to my reading list. Then, as an obliger, I simply had to read it. I’m extremely glad I did. Working in IT I’m more than familiar with the history of Steve Jobs, but had no prior knowledge of his daughter Lisa.

The tale starts with explaining how Lisa was first rejected by her father and was being brought up by her artistic mother. They often found it hard to make ends meet while her distant father was becoming more well known and affluent. Gradually Lisa and her dad grew to know each other but he still kept denying he was her father. Eventually their father daughter bond became stronger until he did in fact acknowledge he was one of her parents. We learn how, in his younger days, Steve would go roller skating with Lisa and could often be fun. We also learn about Steve’s difficult past.

Eventually Lisa gets to spend more time with her father, eventually moving into his home. All this time Steve appears to have difficulty becoming really close to Lisa. She also feels pressured to comply to his rules, which are making her school activities difficult. Eventually she moves back out to split her time between both parents.

At the end, during Steve’s failing days with cancer, we learn that he has regrets for how he has treated his daughter. We feel that he believes he should have tried harder and been closer to her. I’m left feeling that Lisa did manage to get some connection with her father but this connection was fragmented at times.

I enjoyed listening to this book (on Audible) and was left wanting to know more about how Lisa has progressed since her father’s death. As an IT professional it was also a treat to finally discovered that the Lisa computer was named after the creator’s daughter. Thank you Gretchen for this recommendation.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Green900
  • 11-04-20

Decent book

I liked the book it was decent. However, it wasn't what I was hoping it to be. I'm personally a big fan of Steve jobs so I went in with the hope of wanting to find out more about him. Although it provided fresh perspective from Lisa's perspective, I feel it dragged on too much. Parts of it were very good and insightful , especially when it came to finding out more about Steve Jobs as a parent and the torn relationship they had. It really provided a good indication of how important it is to have a good father figure in your early years which you get the sense of. But what really let it down was that I felt it was too slow. I would've preferred that the book focused more on the latter part of Jobs being very sick and relationship at that point but that part seemed to be skimmed through. Good book, just make sure you're expectations are right before you decide to read it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-12-19

Emotional, thrilling and relatable

Brennan-jobs really expressed her childhood of hardships very well. I get bored easily of books if they drag on even a

little bit but this really did not bore me. It gives you insight into not only her feelings but how she thinks others might feel.

You really get a deep look into her personality and emotions because she effortlessly relays everything she was actually

experiencing. It's also a really relatable book because even though she is the daughter of Steve Jobs, she doesn't come

off as particularly entitled, authoritative or spoilt and you can relate to her cumbersome life. The way that she displays

her disappointment for her father yet her love and longing for him is amazingly shown. I particularly like how well she

comes off as a real person, as if she is someone that you could actually talk to. The amazing depiction of her character

is exhilarating as you accompany her on her journey of life, identity and understanding. The voice of the narrator is also

quite soothing and nice.

Would definitely recommend this as this is a must read.